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COMMENTS

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  • Paul Burt 2 weeks

    Good article, the matter of euthanasia is not simply a theological debate to be won,not just a problem to be solved once and for all, but a series of tasks to be done, a series of relationships to be had with those coming to terms with their own mortality. To paraphrase John Donne’s comment: ‘No man is an island, entire of itself – every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main,… everyman’s death ‘engages’ me (and concerns me), because I am involved in mankind!’ We may not be able to have more than one vote against euthanasia, but we can pray for those drawn towards it like a dark whirlpool, and hope to help to them resist its influence. 

  • Dr David Leaf 2 weeks

    Dr Miller seems not to have practiced medicine in such a way as to witness actual intolerable suffering. When seen, it is never forgotten, whether by medical professionals like myself or families.

    There is nothing holy about suffering leading up to the end. It is appalling, relentless, unedifying and brutal.
    To claim that relief is a “temptation” that one should somehow resist is cruel and unNecessary in the modern world.

    • Virginia Miller 2 weeks

      Dear David,

      Thank you for commenting on my article.
      In response I think it is important to say that the article assumes that the reader is aware of the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith’s “Declaration on Euthanasia,” which is not as restrictive regarding end-of-life decisions as many people believe it to be. Indeed, there is an aspect of the teaching in the document that is not too far removed from some definitions of passive euthanasia – that is in the refusal of treatment that would only secure a burdensome prolongation of life. I am not here to debate this definitional distinction, but to say that the document is nuanced. Moreover, it is the teaching of the Catholic Church and there are people who want to live according to this teaching – even if they are often dismissed as being out of step with the modern world.